The Egyptian city of Alexandria is one of the largest cities in Egypt and famous for its fascinating ancient history. Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, and other historical sites it is unsurprising that Alexandria draws millions of tourists yearly.
History and art enthusiasts would be particularly interested to discover that Alexandria is home to a number of museums. Here are some interesting facts about the most popular art museums in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Graeco-Roman Museum
A visit to the Graeco-Roman Museum would be a satisfying experience even for the most critical of art and history connoisseurs. Built in the neoclassical style, the Museum houses a collection of artifacts dating from 3 B.C. The exhibits include mummies, sarcophagi, sculptures, pottery, tapestries, coins, busts, mosaics, glassware, figurines, statues that date from the Hellenic period, and more.
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The statue of the Apis bull (the sacred bull of Memphis carved in black granite) is one of the museum’s most famous exhibits. Other exhibits of note include the silver bust of Aphrodite, carved sphinxes, statues of Isis, a bronze head of the Emperor Hadrian, figurines of clay made in Tanagra, Coptic textiles, a statue of Hercules, a mummified crocodile, etc. The Graeco-Roman Museum also features a sculpture garden which is a garden filled with the most exquisite statues.
The Alexandria National Museum
Located in the Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace, the Alexandria National Museum is a modern art museum, which features many exhibits dating from the Hellenic, Islamic, Pharaonic periods and more.
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This art museum also houses statuary like the statues of the ancient Egyptian Gods Isis and Horus, A statue of King Menkaure, Grecian sculptures, sculptured heads of Akhenaten and Hatshepsut, the granite stele of King Nakhtnebef, a statue of a high priest of Isis carved in black basalt, statues of Hadrian and Caracala dating from the Roman period, etc. Other exhibits include Coptic icons, coins, pottery, jewellery, etc.
The Royal Jewellery Museum
The Royal Jewellery Museum, which is located in the Palace of Princess Fatma Al-Zahra, is another popular art museum in Alexandria. From jewel-encrusted watches, necklaces, brooches, tea sets, tools, chess sets and tiaras to miniature portraits and more, this museum exhibits some fascinating relics of Egyptian history and in particular the Muhammad Ali Dynasty.
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The museum building by itself is aesthetically pleasing, for it features beautiful painted glass windows, chandeliers, etc. This art museum, which is built in the neoclassical style, also exhibits many paintings, statues, etc.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is home to the Antiquities, Manuscript, Sadat, and History of Science Museums. The Antiquities Museum features a number of artifacts, some, which have been actually discovered on-site.
The Manuscript Museum features a number of interesting manuscripts including old manuscripts of the Quran. The Sadat Museum features exhibits on former President Sadat. The History of Science museum provides information on scientific discoveries and achievements in the Hellenic, Pharaonic periods, etc.
Other art museums in Alexandria that are worth visiting include, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Cavafy Museum, and The Alexandria Aquarium, which features many freshwater species and species from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea.